Sheriff: Teens made 'poor decisions' in bank robbery

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 9:56 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — PAXTON — Two teens charged with attempted armed robbery of a Ford County bank last week made some “very poor decisions,” Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran said Monday.

Authorities said Damon Lee, 18, and Ryan Redmon, 19, both of Piper City, entered the Vermilion Valley Bank in Roberts at 9:05 a.m., wearing masks and waving handguns. They were pointing the guns at people and yelling, Doran said, but then they left without taking any money.

There were no injuries.

“The handguns were not real firearms,” Doran said. “But as far as the charges these two men face, it does not matter that the handguns were not real. The employees and patrons of the bank believed they were real.”

“I believe they got cold feet once nobody complied with demands for money,” Doran said. “But things could have easily and quickly deteriorated. Someone could have been shot if there was an off-duty police officer there or something like that.”

Lee and Redmon were arrested a short time later and remain in the Ford County jail. Both are charged with one count of felony attempted aggravated robbery.

Redmon’s bond was set at $100,000, and he faces an unrelated burglary charge filed in September. Lee’s bond was set at $75,000. Both are due in court for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 19.

After the two men left, they drove north toward Piper City in a blue Chevrolet Blazer that was easy to spot, police said. The vehicle also was traveling at a high rate of speed, which drew the attention of Piper City Police Chief Fred Fanning, who was driving south en route to the scene.

“Even though we are in a rural area, we had law enforcement on the way from the north and south and also Illinois State Police were coming from all directions,” Doran said. “We had a pretty good perimeter.”

Fanning turned around, stopped the vehicle and took the teens into custody without incident.

“It’s not very often where you have a case like that where you catch the suspects so quickly,” Doran said. “But Fred was in his car and was able to respond right away and they drove right toward him. Sometimes, it’s good to be lucky every once in a while.”

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